Tuesday, February 28, 2012

When it rains, it pours....right into our family room

We're in the process of remodeling (and adding on to) our home.

Essentially, adding a playroom, another master suite, closing up our upstairs loft to make that into a bedroom and moving our laundry room upstairs.  We should have approximately 1000 more square feet added to our current home when the construction is complete.

Yeah, I know...we're totally insane to take on a huge project like this while we have young children.  But THEY are the main reason we need to do this remodel.

We searched the real estate market high and low for two whole years and nothing ever seemed to pan out, although we did come super close a couple times.

Some of you may recall the Flood of 2010 when we woke up the morning after Thanksgiving to find our entire family room and kitchen flooded when a pipe in our downstairs bathroom broke.  Our new wood floors were completely ruined and had to be replaced.

Thankfully, our insurance company took care of it and we decided to go with an upgrade and have dark wood floors put in.

Everything was going wonderfully....friends and family who came over gushed about our beautiful new floors.

And, finally, I wasn't embarrassed to host play dates where I had to say, "Oh, you didn't know?  Cement floors decorated with  personalized drawings of the family pet in permanent marker are all the rave now!"

And then....it happened. Another flood.  Another beautiful floor ruined.

The construction guys who had taken out our fireplace had failed to seal the barrier up properly.  It rained one night and we woke up to water squishing out between our floor boards.

We only lost the family room floors though, as it appears the floors in the eating area, the kitchen and the living room were unaffected.

Hopefully, they'll be able to replace what was lost without having to re-do the entire downstairs if we can match the pieces perfectly.

Back to cement floors....again

What my living room looks like now with most of the family room furniture in it

The other night, Tim remarked, "Do you realize in the last 2 years we've had cement floors more often than we've had wood floors?"

I said, because we're getting ready for Garrett and Landon's 5th birthday party, "Do you realize in the last 3 years every time we're about to host a birthday party or a holiday gathering here, our home is in complete disarray due to remodeling projects or some random, freak accident?"

We both began to laugh hysterically....to prevent ourselves from sobbing, I suppose.

I mean, really. What can we do, except laugh?

I keep telling myself it'll all be worth it, in the end.  And people who have endured remodeling projects in their homes have assured me that will indeed be the case.

Unless, of course, Mother Nature decides to stir up another natural disaster the moment our renovation is complete....like a tornado which we very rarely get here in Northern CA.

Because that would be my luck.

But let's just all hope that my luck has changed for the better.


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Friday, February 24, 2012

Is your willy bigger than mine?

I was in the kitchen getting the little twins some juice while they were on the stairs yesterday, when I overheard the following conversation:

Garrett:  I have a willy, too.

Landon:  Mine's bigger than yours though.

Garrett:  See, here's my willy.  Wanna touch it?

Landon:  Yeah.  You wanna pet my willy?

Garrett:  Yeah.  Yours is softer than mine.

When I looked over at them, this is what I saw....

Wait...you knew they were talking about their Free Willy stuffed animals, didn't you?

Get your minds out of the gutter, people!!

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

What You're Really Worth

I've said it before, and I will say it again – us stay-at-home moms are highly undervalued. Once we tie the knot, put on wedding bands, and have kids, our value is often greatly underestimated in terms of dollar amounts, and many wonder why we don't just get careers.

Well, I'm here to breakdown that myth, and prove that stay-at-home moms are actually worth more in their dollar amount than a working mom.

An average stay-at-home mom works a whopping 96.6 hours a week – that's nearly double what any husband works. In addition to working 40 normal working hours and 56.6 hours of overtime, the average stay-at-home takes on not just one job, but the jobs of approximately 10 other positions:

Housekeeper: The general task of simply being a housekeeper alone take on average 15.4 hours of our week, each week, and we often spend those hours simply keeping the house in some vague form of order. For our time alone, we should be compensated $10,200.

Personal Chef: Kids have to be fed, and because of it, we are often preparing separate meals to appease picky palates. Just over 14 hours a week are spent in the kitchen, and if we really were gainfully employed chefs, we could expect $12,500 annually for our work.

Janitor: As moms, when aren't we cleaning? As we aren't trying to get the kitchen back in order, then we are trying to clean up the latest mess the kids just made. We spend nearly 7.8 hours a week dedicated solely to janitorial duties, and if we were regularly employed could expect $5,100 annually from that amount of work.

Chauffeur: Whether it be to school or to soccer practice, we spend an awful lot of time driving our kids around. 7.8 hours to be exact, and for that driving, we would normally expect to be compensated $7,700 annually.

Psychologist: Really, when aren't we giving someone positive life advice? According to the national average, we spend a little more than 7 hours a week doing so, and annually those hours add up to $18,700 a year. Not too bad, for being a life coach.

CEO: There is no denying that we are in charge in our own homes. We run and manage nearly everything. Our particular CEO duties cost us about 3.9 hours each week, and come with an annual salary of $16,200.

Other positions we hold include facilities manager, daycare teacher, computer operator, and laundry machine operator. These positions combined require a whopping 40 additional extra hours of our week, and offer an annual salary of $47,600. In total, that means us stay-at-home moms should make $115,432 a year!

The average working mom – with professional and at-home responsibilities combined – only brings in $63,472! That means that stay-at-home moms are worth $51,960 more than their working counterparts.

Not too bad if I say so myself. Too bad we will never see a dime of that! However, that doesn't mean that I may not gloat about how much I am worth from time to time.

Guest post written by Jenna Smith.  For more information on this kind of post, please read my disclosure statement.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pouring My Heart Out...It Only Hurts for a Little While

"You should pull your sleeves down.  Your arm looks weird," I overheard the little girl say to my daughter, as the two of them sat on top of the monkey bars at the park.

"Yeah, I'm getting cold anyway," Bella replied, pulling her pushed-up sleeves back down to cover her arms.

Bella glanced over at me and I gave her my bravest smile, even though my heart was exploding into a million jagged pieces.

Later that evening, I approached her.

"I overheard what that little girl said to you about your arm.  How did that make you feel?" I asked.

Avoiding eye contact with me, she continued to color as she answered, "I'm okay, I guess."

She paused for a couple seconds and then quietly continued, "But my arm IS weird."

A lump formed in my throat, as this was the first time Bella had ever said anything negative about her arm.

My mind went back to a conversation she and I had a couple years ago after seeking the advice of yet another surgeon.

Back then, at the tender age of 4, she wasn't bothered by the scar which covered the entire bicep of her right arm.  In fact, I can still hear her tiny voice telling me, "It doesn't bother me.  I think it's pretty and I like it.  I want to keep my scar.  It makes me special."

Even now, those words bring a smile to my face.  So innocent, so resilient, so accepting.  Back then...

You see, Bella was born with a hemangioma on her right arm.  At first, it was nothing more than a bright red dime-sized mark on her bicep.  The NICU staff explained to us what it was and said it would probably fade with time but, in rare instances,  hemangiomas can grow at an alarmingly fast pace.

Bella - 11 days old
Her hemangioma was one of those rare instances.

By the time she left the NICU, 4 weeks later, it was obvious the hemangioma had grown tremendously.

Bella - 26 days old

For more details and to view more pictures, you can read this post.

While Bella knows the story of her hemangioma, she gets tired of repeating the story to others....curious strangers who simply have this undying need to know what happened to her arm.  We finally told her, "Just tell people it's a birthmark and leave it at that."

Bella - 10 months old
As she continued to color, I responded, "It makes me sad to hear you agreeing with that little girl.  I remember a time when you thought your arm was beautiful and you loved that it made you special."

Bella - 13 months old
"I know, Mommy," she said softly.  "But you don't know how often people ask me about it and I get so tired of having to explain what it is.  And then some kids don't even believe me.  They think I got burned or something, like I'm lying about it.  Or they say they've never seen a birthmark like mine before. Maybe they're just jealous because my arm is different but still...it hurts my feelings.  Sometimes I wish my arm looked normal like everyone else's."

Bella - 3 years old
I pulled her close to me and found solace in the sweet, fruity scent of her freshly washed hair.

To my dismay, the inevitable had finally occurred but I still couldn't help feeling caught off guard by it.  It was much sooner than I expected and much more heartbreaking than I had anticipated.

As a parent, I want all my children to be accepted and loved for who they are, regardless of how they look or whatever physical or character flaws they may  have.  I want their inner beauty to be just as valuable as their outer beauty.  More than anything, I wish everyone could see what I see when I look at them...incredible, wonderful, amazing little human beings.

My hand glided over the tough, leathery skin on Bella's right arm as I spoke, "I understand.  I really do.  I'm sorry those people hurt your feelings.  I just want you to be happy and comfortable in your own skin.  You are beautiful and special, no matter what.  We can go back and talk to the surgeon again, if you like."
Bella - today at 7 years old

Bella put her crayon down and looked up at me.  "Not yet.  I can wait until I'm a little older.  Besides, the comments do hurt my feelings but it only hurts for a little while.  Don't be sad.  I'm not."

With tears welling up in my eyes, I beamed at my daughter as she began to color her picture again...her words forever embedded in my brain.

It only hurts for a little while.  Don't be sad.  I'm not.

It never ceases to amaze me.

The fact that my 7-year old daughter is so much braver and more tolerant than I am as an adult is something I will truly never understand.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Bread machine fail #6

A good friend of mine loaned me her bread machine....quite awhile ago.  So long ago, in fact, that I honestly think she's forgotten about it.

Although I did try to give it back to her a couple times and she waved her hand at me and said, "I never used it.  At least you're getting some use out of it".

Getting SOME use out of it?  Well, that might be the understatement of the year.

I'm in love with this bread machine.  Seriously, it can do amazing things that I could never do.  Such as make bread...and pizza dough...and all kinds of deliciousness.

I come off looking like Supermom while the bread machine sulks in the corner, feeling unappreciated and unloved.  I'll have to give it an extra gentle caress next time I use it.  I wouldn't want it to crap out on me and make me look bad.

So....the other night, I made homemade pizza.  Yep, dough from scratch and everything.  I like to mix  olive oil, italian seasonings and parmesan cheese in with the other ingredients, including white whole wheat flour and ground flaxseed so it can still be considered somewhat healthy (and the kids and Tim never suspect a thing!)

All I did was throw the ingredients in the machine and let it do all the work.  While the pizzas cooked in the oven, our home was filled with such a wonderful pizza-licious aroma that it literally made my mouth water.

Half turkey pepperoni/half cheese

Mushrooms and Olives

Happy customers
Another happy customer
The next day, I got a wild hare up my ass to make cinnamon rolls in the bread machine.  My kids love cinnamon rolls but I tend not to buy them because they just have so many unhealthy ingredients, mainly partially hydrogenated oils.

But I figured if I made them then I could control the ingredients (see, there I go again...total type-A control freak) and maybe even sneak in some ground flaxseed.

I talked up these cinnamon rolls to the kids ALL. DAY. LONG.  I mean, nonstop talking about these damn rolls.  Every 10 minutes, I was all, "These are gonna be the bomb, you guys!" and "OMG, I cannot wait until these are done...YUM!!!"

They were super excited....hell, even Tim was excited.  And you all know he very rarely gets excited about anything (unless it's a spontaneous sexual encounter with yours truly, which doesn't happen often obviously).

After the first hour, I heard the bread machine beep.  I thought, "Well, that's weird" and I checked the dough but it seemed okay so I left it alone.

Two hours later, the machine beeped again.  The dough was done!

Except it wasn't dough.  It was bread.  Cooked bread.

"Uh, Mommy, that doesn't look like dough," one of the little smart asses commented.

"Hmmm, I don't know what I did wrong.  Was I supposed to take the dough out when it beeped about two hours ago?" I asked, completely dumbfounded as I thumbed through the machine's manual.

Yep, apparently, that first set of beeps was meant as, "Hello...dumb ass.  Take the dough out of the machine now."

The kids were in tears, snot dripping down their faces..."You said we were gonna have cinnamon rolls.  You lied to us!  You made bread instead!"

For crying out loud.  I'm only human.  Aren't I entitled to make a mistake or two....or six?

With some quick thinking, I said, "We can still eat it, even though it's not technically cinnamon rolls.  Here, I'll just put the cinnamon sugar on the bread with some butter and we can eat it like that, okay?"

I smothered the slices of sweet bread with the cinnamon sugar and butter and handed them each a piece, which they promptly gobbled up.

"MMMMMMM," they all said in unison.  "This is really good!"

After Cole finished his slice, he said, "Mommy, you make the best food ever!"

And that was enough to warm my heart, even though they were completely devastated just ten minutes earlier.

I'm going to attempt those damn cinnamon rolls again today...and you can bet your sweet ass I won't be mentioning it to the kids unless the rolls come out absolutely perfect this time!

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

The SAHM's Survival Guide

One of my lovely friends, Kristen at A Little Something For Me, recently asked if I'd like to write a guest post on her blog.

"Hell yeah," was my response.  Because I simply adore her.

What's not to love about someone who is passionate, honest, and expressive?

Kristen is a loving mother of three children (including an adorable set of twins and a precious special needs baby).  She's the type of mother who will walk the ends of the earth for her children...she takes her job as advocate for them very seriously.

And she has the most amazing sense of humor.  She's able to poke fun at herself and laugh about the silly things.

That's why I love her...and you will too!

Kristen has just transitioned from working outside the home to being a full-time SAHM so I wrote "The SAHM's Survival Guide" in her honor!  Or in memory of her former life.  Whichever.

I'd be happier than a clam at high tide if you'd take a minute and head over there and read my guest post, especially if you could use a dash of humor in your day!  

And subscribe to Kristen's blog while you're over there!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Things you never knew about Big Foot, according to my kids....

My kids are obsessed with Big Foot.  Like, seriously obsessed.  It's almost an illness.

Morning, noon and night, they are talking about this big, hairy monster-type....uh, thing.

They discovered Big Foot after watching the movie Judy Moody and The Not So Bummer Summer.

And they believe he is real and living in a nearby forest here in Northern California.

So in case you were wondering, here are some things you never knew about Big Foot...according to my kids:

1)  Big Foot's favorite foods are grapes, deer, cheeseburgers with everything (including pickles...never ever forget the pickles or you will pay dearly), lollipops, marshmallows and berries.

2)  He has no choice but to poop out in the wild so he has to wipe his butt with sticks and/or leaves.  Leaves can also be mulit-purposed as a hairbrush.

3)  He's a Sasquatcher.  Nope, not a Sasquatch...but a Sasquatcher.

4)   Never ever confuse Big Foot with Chewbacca.  Chewbacca is a Wookie and Big Foot is a Sasquatcher.  There's a big difference between the two.

Photo Credit
Photo Credit

5)  He has no friends....because he eats his friends.

6)  He has green eyes that sometimes turn brown.  It depends on his mood.  And he has yellow teeth.  Because there is no such thing as a toothbrush in the wild.  Or toothpaste.  Duh.

7)  Big Foot spends his days eating his favorite foods and running away from people.  When he's not running away from people, he's hunting them down.  If he's lucky enough to catch a person, he kills them and eats them....raw, like sushi.

8)  He's mean.  So never try to capture him and make him your family pet.

9)  Big Foot cannot talk.  He just kind of roars, like an angry monster.  And don't try to talk to him because he doesn't understand English.  Only Spanish.

10)  He smells like garbage, poop....and bad breath.

Now, don't you feel enlightened on all things Big Foot?

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Hi, I’m a type-A control freak mom of multiple multiples…nice to meet you!

When people find out I have two sets of twins, one of their comments is almost always, "Wow, how do you do it?"

Truthfully, I've never had an answer for that question.  I'm just doing the best I can with what God equipped me with.  Well, that and a healthy dose of Paxil.

I don't know anything other than multiple multiples.  Hand me a singleton child and I'd probably struggle and want to throw myself into oncoming traffic.

Twins...that's my thing.

So, how do I do it?

Well, I suppose my type-A control freak personality comes into play and seems to be a huge advantage when it comes to being a mom of multiple multiples.  I'm a huge planner and I crave organization and harmony.

When my kids were younger, I could tell you exactly what time they'd be napping, eating a meal, crapping in their diapers EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. because I was such a schedule nazi.  Friends and family would scoff at my inability to be more flexible.

Too freakin' bad...it wasn't them who would be up at 2:00 am with two wide-awake babies who had napped all day long.

Then, of course, there were those well-meaning people who fed me their unsolicited advice based.

Like my MIL who was convinced Bella would end up with shaken-baby syndrome because Bella preferred the fastest speed in her baby swing.  It was the only way she would sleep for a period of time.

Sure, life has certainly become easier now that my kids aren't dependent on naps, eating schedules and diapers any longer.

But that hasn't stopped my tendency to control all things possible in order to lesson the chaos in my life.

And this is where meal planning comes into play.  I used to laugh at those people who planned their meals out a week in advance...until I started doing it and realized how essential it is to keeping the peace in our home.




How does meal planning keep the peace in our home, you might be wondering?

Well, first off, the kids help me plan the meals.  Every Saturday, I ask each of them to come up with one of their favorite meals to put on the planner.

You may notice some of the meals above are repeated week from week...because my children are creatures of habit and I'm fine with that.  So Tim and I have to suffer through eating french toast for dinner almost every single week but it's less food I have to waste and that makes me happy.

Plus, when I go grocery shopping, I know exactly what I need to buy...and what I don't need to buy.  I've saved a ton of money on groceries since beginning this whole "weekly meal planning" strategy.

Another way I stay in control is this ultra-cool calendar that Tim bought me for Christmas.  Does my man know me or what?



I love that each family member has his/her own little area where activities, appointments or whatever can be written in.

Yes, I'm so anal I even have the damn "change water filter" reminder written on there because I will forget if it's not written somewhere.

The "journal" note is something I just started doing again recently.  Once a week, I'll write in these adorable little journals I have for each of the kids.

Simple, a little personal note to them about what's happened in their life within the last month and things I want them to know, specifically just for them.

I started doing this about 2 years ago and...well, then life got in the way.  But I'm back in the habit again, especially now that I have it written in my calendar as a reminder.

So, my friends, that is how this mother of multiple multiples does it, without losing her sanity.  In case you ever wondered.

How do you manage it all?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Want to Know Wednesdays...Celebrating the Small Victories


                                 Hosted by MamarazziQueso and Crazymama

{1} What is for dinner tonight (bonus for sharing the recipe)?

Pork loin, orzo with parmesan and basil and some type of veggie.

The pork loin is to die for!  I put a rub of various spices and extra virgin olive oil on it and roast it for about 90 minutes.  It's super juicy and so tasty.

The orzo is delicious too!  Found the recipe online and pinned it!  If you want to check it out, here's a link...http://pinterest.com/pin/277252920779788095/

{2} Share something you are currently looking forward to.

Actually, there are two things I'm looking forward to.

One is our annual Disneyland trip this year in May!  But this time, we're not telling the kids about it until the day we leave.  They're gonna be so super excited!!!

I'm also looking forward to the construction on our home being completed.  It's been so chaotic around here, trying to keep track of the construction schedule and trying to keep the kids out of the workers' way.

It's a wonder no one's lost an arm or a leg yet.  The workers, I mean.

{3} What are your thoughts on re-gifting?

You know, my attitude is whatever works for you.

And if you're assuming I've done it before based on that answer,  you'd be right.

But it was a super nice gift that was re-gifted and that has to count for something.

{4} How often do you rearrange your furniture?

Actually, quite often.  I get tired of seeing the same things in the same place.  So I'm constantly moving things around and switching everything up.

Plus, it irritates the kids.

It's payback.  What can I say?

{5} Share a picture from your cellphone or camera.

How sweet is this??

We had gone out to dinner and as we were being lead to our table, Garrett and Cole had their arms around each other.

Of course,  not 5 minutes later, they were attempting to spit on one another so you can see why I have to celebrate the small victories as they come.

Because they don't happen often.

Oh and small PS - Some of you asked what the name of the book was in one of my previous posts but you left no e-mail in your profile or any other way to get in touch with you so it's Night Road by Kristin Hannah.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saving space with a vanity mirror...

Guest post written by Isla Brown

I've been working over the past few months to basically repaint and reorganize our household. I guess that I'm also doing a little bit of redecorating along the way. But I'm also working on finding cheaper ways to do that bit of redecorating rather than investing in huge pieces of furniture.

But we're also Installing new floors because that's something that we definitely needed to have done. That's where a big part of our pretty small budget is going to. There was another part that I wanted to concentrate on too, my little corner of my bedroom where I get dressed and ready in the mornings.

I wanted something besides the little hand mirror that I use, so I got a vanity mirror to hang on the wall. That wall I can more easily see my whole look at one time. Plus, I found one that will just hang up on the wall and not take up any additional space. It has a really adorable frame too, which is even better!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Don't mind me...I'm just mourning a fictional character

Have you ever read a book so captivating...so enchanting...that you end up falling hopelessly in love with the characters?

They begin to feel like real people to you, rather than fictional characters in a book.

You can't stop talking about the book to friends, family members...total strangers on the street.

Before you know it, these characters have fully consumed you.  You begin to avoid appointments and turn down play dates just so you can stay home and read this book.  Perhaps even neglecting your kids for a few minutes so you can sneak in just one more paragraph.

Well, I'm certainly guilty of this.  I have such passion for books...it's almost like a ravishing love affair that devours me whole.

When I finish a book, I need at least a few days (if not an entire week) to process the story line and have closure before I can move on to another one.

Recently, I fell in love with yet another set of characters (I won't name the book here mainly because I don't want to spoil it for any one who hasn't read it yet).   Head over heels, whole-heartedly.

There were several twists and turns which I couldn't foresee and then...out of nowhere....one of the characters died in a horrific car accident.

She was young...a foolish, drunk teenager...who made a stupid decision not to wear her seat belt.  And due to a series of poor choices, her best friend (also her twin brother's girlfriend), who also had been drinking, was driving.

The story continued with how this one bad decision affected two families.  The aftermath of this terrible tragedy was gut-wrenching.   Everyone's lives were affected one way or another.

The best friend takes responsibility for the accident (even though it was the dead girl's twin who was supposed to be driving) and she goes to prison for 5 years.

Soon after, she discovers she's pregnant and offers her boyfriend the opportunity to raise their daughter, with no intention of ever being involved in her child's life.

I felt the devastating pain of these families, especially the dead girl's mother, who is so consumed with grief she's unable to bond with her granddaughter...or feel anything at all.  She's just a hollow shell, floating through life, crossing days off on a calendar.

Of course, the story ends on a happy note but for awhile I was so caught up in the drama of this book that I found myself in mourning...for a fictional character.

Yes, people...I cried real tears and grieved for someone who doesn't even exist.  I wielded such sorrow and heartache that it felt as though I had lost one of my own children.

I didn't even realize how much it had affected me...how deeply the anguish pained me...until one of my kids mentioned something.

"Mommy," Cole mentioned.  "What's wrong with you?  You're acting sad."

I replied, "Well, I guess I kinda am sad.  I was just really into this book and one of the characters died."

He stood there for a full minute, digesting what I had just told him.

"But you know it's not real, right?  It was just a book," he stated.

"Uh, yeah, I know it's not real.  I suppose it just affected me more than expected."

And then my 7-year old son rolled his eyes at me and walked away....

"Mommy's sad because some fake character in a book died," I overheard him mumble to his concerned siblings.

Whatever.  I can't help that my emotions are as obvious as Kim Kardashian's inability to love another human being more than she loves herself.

I shouted to them, "Yeah, don't mind me...I'm just mourning a fictional character.  There's nothing wrong with that!"

Or is there?

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pouring My Heart Out...Parenting Has Turned Me Into a Social Hermit

As I listened to a few girlfriends chatting about how fun it would be to take off somewhere minus the husbands and the kids...just us girls...I couldn't help but think it sounded more stressful than being at home.

Call me crazy but socializing actually drains me these days.

Here's the thing...I spend a good portion of my day taking care of my kids.

Making them meals, wiping their asses, playing endless games to the point where I can't see straight, keeping them happy and entertained.

They hang on me, they lay on me, they're constantly touching me.  They talk to me for hours on end until their voices all blend together.

Oh, don't get me wrong.  That's probably the best part about parenting...the hugs and kisses, the cuddly moments where they lay with you and allow you to snuggle with them.  And, of course,  hearing their giggles, snorts and laughter.

But what it also means is I'm usually physically and emotionally tapped out come 7:00 on most evenings.   I've already "worked" a full day by the time they go to bed and the last thing I want to do is change out of my comfy clothes and get all dolled up to meet some friends for dinner.

And weekends?

My weekends are usually filled with grocery shopping, running errands and then good old family time.

I'll admit I'm most comfortable when I'm at home.

If I'm fortunate enough to have Tim take the kids to his parents house for a few hours on a Sunday, the only thing I want to do is curl up on my sofa with a cup of tea and get completely lost in a good book.

I don't want to meet a girlfriend to go shopping with, I don't want to have lunch with anyone.  I just want to be alone in my own little world where I can relax...where I feel happy and content...where I can wear a tank top with no bra and a pair of ratty, old boxer shorts.

I have found that I don't crave new friendships as much as I did in my earlier years...you know, before I grew four human beings inside my body, two at a time, and was gutted like a fish to bring them into this world.

Perhaps I'm at my emotional and social limit?  Maybe parenting has filled a void for me where I'm not as lonely as I used to be?

I do have friends...very good friends who I can count on for whatever I need, in good times and in bad.  I have good friends who I know will have my back, who are extremely loyal to a fault.  Those are the friends I would entrust my children to if it became necessary.

That's not to say I'm not open to new friendships; I'm just not actively seeking them out.

The internet, however, is a whole different story.  Because it takes virtually very little effort to connect with another blogger.

I read a blog post which resonates with me, I leave a comment on the blog, the blogger e-mails me and...alas, an online friendship has blossomed.   It doesn't require me to invest hours and hours of shopping, meeting up for coffee or anything else more than what I can provide at this time.

Probably a HUGE downfall but it's all I can manage for the time being.

Things may be different once my children are a little older and become more involved in school activities.  With them being gone all day in school, I may find myself yearning for new friendships.  I may want to step out of my comfort zone and socialize more.

But, for now...I'm pretty comfortable being a social hermit.

As you grow older, how do you feel about making new friends?  Do you prefer a small circle of close friends or a large number of acquaintances?

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----Roseanne Barr

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